EPISODE 358. Broadcast on October 30, 2011.
javabeans: The boys kick off the show with a goofy intro in Saturi accents, which is totally normal-sounding coming from a comedian like Su-geun, but entirely weird and jarring from a movie star like Tae-woong. These boys are such dorks.
girlfriday: Ha, their idea of adopting the accent is just to add “Ah-ing~” to the end of every sentence.
javabeans: They congratulate Seung-gi on his “all-kill” success with his latest album, and Ji-won chides, “But how can you kill me too?” Since his group Clover is also active. And then he joshes Jong-min about not finding Koyote on the charts anywhere. Hee. And aw.
girlfriday: Aw, it’s too bad that they have to compete in the real world.
javabeans: Tae-woong bursts out with his trademark impatience, “Where are we going today?” But today he’s joking, since his speedy MC-ing process has been noted enough to become a joke. Aw, the (variety) maknae is learning!
girlfriday: Yay, Tae-woong finally has a thing of his own! It’s the new 1N2D catchphrase, the “Where are we going today?”
javabeans: The group has been gathered for their opening at noon, which is, to say the least, unusual. Ji-won: “I like it this way. This is the right way to do it.” Turns out that it was merely a matter of crew error, though (they left some equipment behind and had to get it), not a specially themed event.
girlfriday: They’re like, oh, yeah… that sounds about right. Heh. What, did you expect Na PD to have a nice guy lobotomy or something?
javabeans: Na PD announces that this is a “Remote Village Special,” which is pronounced o-ji-ma-eul. Ji-won jokes (man, he’s getting all the one-liners and we’re only a couple minutes in!), “As in, the Don’t Come Here special?” (Don’t come = o-ji-ma. Ahh, puns.)
girlfriday: Tae-woong bursts out again, “So where is this remote village?” I think the funny is in the demandy tone, all Where the hell are you taking us to, evil dictator?
javabeans: Seung-gi wonders if this means nobody will be around at all. “So we can walk around naked and nobody will see?” A thousand fangirls just fainted in glee.
javabeans: Ji-won reminds him that nobody will be around…except for, oh, 40 million viewers: “And the ratings spike 240%!”
girlfriday: Yes, it’s a win-win for all involved! Let’s face it though — Seung-gi would be too busy doing bicep curls in preparation for the nekkidness that the whole weekend would pass by first. Big tease.
javabeans: The first challenge will be getting to Gajung Village, in the form of a race. Na PD even gives them a map, although it’s really just a GPS snapshot, like off Google Maps, which shows the terrain from overhead. The problem? Their current location isn’t even ON the map, so the challenge will be getting within a vicinity that will make it useful.
girlfriday: Ji-won names the river that snakes through the map in one shot: “It’s the East River, right?” Na PD lets out an audible “Whooooaaaa…” totally impressed… until Ji-won points out that the map has a landmark on it called East River Maintenance Center. HA.
javabeans: Na PD says that from here, it took the crew an hour and a half to arrive at the destination, and that was knowing the way there. So he’ll give them roughly two hours to make it there. But there’s a catch (of course there is): They have to make it by the deadline purely by gut feeling. As in, they have to sense the time without clocks, and arrive within 5 minutes of the goal in order to win “a large prize.” If they fail? “A small punishment.”
girlfriday: Na PD confiscates all watches and cell phones, and the boys worry for Tae-woong, who has a bit of a phone addiction. Seung-gi: “Don’t you have to let Su Ae-sshi know first?” Hahaha.
javabeans: They’re given a small allowance for toll fees, and Su-geun suggests that the first thing they do is buy a watch. Haha, they should’ve waited to say that until they were out of earshot, because Na PD hurriedly declares that buying a watch is prohibited.
girlfriday: The prize for making it to the village in time: beef. The punishment if they fail: they’ll take it to mean that the boys dislike meat, so the next trip will be a fishing special. Their faces turn white at the thought of all that sea sickness. Su-geun laughs that Na PD probably booked the next trip on a boat anyway, so all this is moot. He challenges him, asking him to make their next trip landlocked if they win. Na PD: “Well… well… um… SURE! Next trip will be land… land… locked.” Pffft. The boys totally call him out for his stuttering. That’s SO his tell. I hope he doesn’t play poker in his spare time.
javabeans: Ji-won waits till they’re on their way to share his idea of why he thinks this’ll be easy: Read their crew’s reactions and prod them into revealing the truth. It sounds difficult, but Ji-won points out that if the guys miss their deadline, for instance, the crew’s attitude will subtly change. They’ll be happy since this is good for entertainment value, and if the boys keep insisting that “No, we’re sure it’s not time yet,” they can tease out some telling reactions from their producers. Ha. It just might work! After all, they can’t be too late, but they can’t be too early either, since they have a ten-minute window in which to time their arrival.
girlfriday: I think maybe that plan is only genius where Ji-won is concerned. The other guys would probably over-think it, but Ji-won is likely to go with his gut reaction and his bizarrely intuitive animal instincts. Jong-min asks Seung-gi if he didn’t bring his new album to play in the car, but the stereo is taped up anyway, to keep them from using the clock or the radio to tell time. He says he’ll have to trust the PDs to edit it in, and they laugh about how he used to be Promotion Seung-gi when he first joined the show. He admits now that back then, he thought television only had one purpose: to promote his music. Ha. I remember those days. Good to see he’s grown out of it.
javabeans: In the car, Su-geun asks, “Are we sure that it’s in Youngwol?” Seung-gi: “I’m sure!…am I not sure?” Haha. I am not inspired by your confidence.
girlfriday: They get to the base of the mountain and then can’t decide which way to go. Seung-gi suggests that they stop to ask for directions, (I suppose that’s the upside to having a guy on the team who never knows where he’s going — he’s not afraid to stop and ask.) and adds that they can sneak a peek at a clock too. My, times HAVE changed, cheater cheater, pants on fire. They stop and the crew runs inside to take down all the clocks, but both Ji-won and Seung-gi catch a glimpse.
javabeans: Ha. I was wondering what was to stop the guys from just asking the locals for the time. Like anyone would refuse to help them if they asked nicely and batted a few eyelashes. Although I do enjoy the shot of the producers madly running to keep up/overtake the guys. Seung-gi tells a producer he saw the clock before they took it down, so at the next stop, there’s the hilarious shot of producers racing to get there first. You know what I love about this show’s concept? It’s actually more work this time for the producers than for the guys. Once inside, they get directions and then ask the employee for the time. He looks around for a clock, only to find each one being blocked by a producer. Then on their way back into their car, Seung-gi ambles over to the producers’ car, all suave-like, and when one accuses him of trying to cheat, he says innocently, “I was just coming here to see how you were doing!”
girlfriday: They’re making good time and finally find the crew waiting at the flag, just on the other side of the river. Only there are no bridges here, just a boat that they’ll have to take across themselves. Ji-won wonders where he ought to park the car, on the narrow mountain dirt road. Su-geun: “Just throw it away!” Ha. This is why Na PD doesn’t give you nice things.
javabeans: Whenever they go to these far-off locales in the woods or the mountains, I’m always like, “Huh, I think I’ve seen this in a sageuk or two…” As they head over to the boat, they engage in this unintentionally funny back-and-forth about what time everyone thinks it is. It gets pretty funny because when one guy tosses out a speculation, another guy tosses out another one just a few minutes shy, like they’re in the Price Is Right (“A hundred dollars?” “A hundred and one!”)
girlfriday: They hurriedly climb onto the boat, and then there’s this hilarious moment where they all just stand there, asking How do you move this thing? This is where being city boys does not come in handy. Tae-woong figures out that you just pull on the rope that’s suspended in the air, so they literally have to yank themselves across.
javabeans: I’m loving Na PD’s worried crankyface. He checks his clock — 3 pm — so the guys are right on schedule. On top of that, their own guesses are pretty on the mark, so there’s a good chance they might win this thing.
girlfriday: Once they reach the other side, then it’s really just a matter of timing — they have to pull the flag between 3:05 and 3:15, since their target time was 3:10. The PD standing watch asks why they aren’t pulling the flag, which alerts them straightaway that it’s too early. Heh. They argue back and forth about what time they think it is, and how long they spent crossing the river. Then Seung-gi gets it in his head that they should go across and back, just to measure how much time it takes. Pfft. After the fact?
javabeans: Na PD’s crew arrives behind the guys, so they pull up in a boat while this flag-pulling discussion is going on, and not for the first time, the guys note that this feels like they’re in a sageuk. (See? It’s not just me!) Seung-gi points to the stone-faced PD and crew and jokes, “It looks like they’re coming to beat us up. Infidels!”
girlfriday: So Tae-woong and Seung-gi get back on the boat, while Jong-min counts for them. Meanwhile Na PD and crew have made it across, and thus begins the true battle of psyches. He asks what time they think it is, and Su-geun guesses that it’s about 3:08 or 3:09, and Na PD pretends not to care. Then suddenly, while everyone else is talking, Ji-won reaches for the flag. “It’s now.”
javabeans: I love this. Like you said, it might only be simple logic for Ji-won, and for nobody else, but it totally works. He’s been quiet this whole time, letting the others joke and guess and trade comments with the crew, while he surveys everyone’s reactions. I love how his intuition isn’t just a vague feeling of possibility, but absolute certainty — if he’s that sure, he really must be able to see the shift in the crew’s attitudes.
girlfriday: Su-geun asks again and again if he’s sure, and Ji-won has that crazy look in his eye. Oh yeah, he’s sure. Seung-gi yells at them to wait, but he’s not waiting. “The feeling, it’s here! It’s here!” He begins the countdown… Su-geun sees Na PD grinning and tells them not to laugh, but Ji-won insists, “That’s defeated laughter!” They count to three and yank the flag… and the close-up reveals the time: EXACTLY 3:10. Whoa. Seriously? Genius-won strikes again.
javabeans: Dude. I don’t understand Ji-won’s genius, but I have mad respect for it. And here I thought this was going to be another crazy-unwinnable task. I suspect he figured it out when Su-geun guessed it was 3:09 when it was 3:09, and Ji-won tossed out, “No, I think it’s 3:00.” The producers must’ve reacted somehow to his (purposely?) wrong guess.
girlfriday: The short walk into the village is lined with fruit trees, and Su-geun is the first to pluck a persimmon to eat. Ji-won nags them like a mom, “Stop picking up anything and eating it!” But after one taste, he totally eats his words. Seung-gi: “I thought you said not to eat anything off the ground.” Ji-won: *nyam nyam* “It’s tasty.”
javabeans: I always feel like eating wild fruit is going to kill me, but I guess that’s why I live in the city. Case in point: They’re oohing over all the persimmons, Asian pears, apples, and chestnuts growing wild, and here I am thinking, Hey, it’s all autumn fruit! …because it’s autumn. Duh.
girlfriday: They reach their country home where they’ll be spending the night, and Su-geun shows them around like he owns the place, while Ji-won silently starts up the barbeque to grill their winnings.
javabeans: Doesn’t this also look like something out of a sageuk? I swear I’ve seen it before. Maybe this is where Iljimae’s mom lived…
girlfriday: No, it’s country, but the house itself doesn’t feel sageuky.
javabeans: Not even with the old-timey kitchen?
girlfriday: Complete with fuse boxes on the outside?
javabeans: Hey, if the crew can cover up clocks, I’m sure they can manage a few pesky fuse boxes.
girlfriday: Tae-woong finds a big dog chained up outside with a Beware of Dog sign, but that clearly isn’t going to stop him from making a new friend. In no time he’s got the dog sidling up to him and eating raw meat out of his hand, all kissy faces, with Seung-gi’s new song playing on the soundtrack: “Should We Date?” Hahahaha. He’s like the freaking Dog Whisperer or something.
javabeans: Then again, you feed a dog some beef and you’re golden. Though it’s amazing how quickly it goes from growly to tail-wagging and adoring. He even has it sitting on command.
girlfriday: Na PD tells them that this is an Eat and Rest special, which just sounds too good to be true. He says he was too lazy to do a bokbulbok, so he just tosses out names of dishes written on cards for them to draw, and then cook themselves with the ingredients available on the farm.
javabeans: I’m like, whaaaa? Is Na PD depressed or something? He’s volunarily passing up bokbulbok opportunities? Seung-gi points out that he’s got his pissyface on today. Don’t you love his imitation?
girlfriday: Seung-gi always does the best Na PD imitations. There was an entire episode full of them once. I laughed till I cried. They draw and Ji-won gets stew, Jong-min gets kimchi, and Seung-gi gets rice. There’s chicken and veggies left, and Tae-woong gives this adorable pout, saying that he doesn’t want to get the chicken, which I’m guessing has more to do with the killing than the cooking. Thankfully Su-geun gets the chicken, and since he grew up on a farm, he doesn’t seem so perturbed by the idea. Na PD watches the whole proceeding with a dark cloud over his face.
javabeans: Su-geun asks what Na PD wanted to happen, and he whines, “Nothing happened the way I wanted it to!”
girlfriday: Haha. Who’s pouty now?
javabeans: Jong-min is given the task of making kimchi with a certain type of plant, and as he heads out to collect it, he worries that he’s not so sure what it looks like. He’s eaten it before, but he’s not sure how it looks in its native habitat. Uh-oh…maybe I’m not the only one we have to worry about surviving in the wild.
girlfriday: Tae-woong pulls out a big radish with full head of greens attached, and he jokes that it’s the radish that runs around wanting to give you a loan. HA. Like the commercial? Jong-min goes to pull what he thinks is his veggie, but it turns out to be a tiny baby radish. Jong-min: “Oh no… I’m sorry… You were growing… Oppa’s sorry.” Tae-woong adds solemnly, “Ah, even if it grows, it won’t forget that scar.”
javabeans: That’s so cute.
girlfriday: Su-geun makes his way into the chicken coop, but his first attempt at bird-napping doesn’t go so well. He shrinks back, shuddering from the chicken encounter, wondering what he’s going to do now. Even if he catches it, is he going to have to lop its head off, all by himself? Guh.
javabeans: I think Su-geun’s more afraid of his chicken that it is of him, but with some help, he grabs one and carries it out, all flappy. The owner shows him the way to do it right, and he’s amazed to see the chicken all quiet and calm. Okay, I love Jong-min, because that would be me. He asks for help locating his particular plant, and is shown one growing wild nearby. But he has to go find it in the vegetable patch, so he breaks off a leaf to use as comparison guide, and the X-Files theme song plays while he puzzles over it: “It’s not this one…”
girlfriday: I love how the captions call him “Food Detective: Kim Jong-min.”
javabeans: He’s all, “They’re all growing…grunt…under these stones….grunt…” and then belatedly realizes that maybe that’s why the plant has the word stone in it. (I don’t actually think that’s why, but his reaction is cute.)
girlfriday: It turns out everyone’s a little hapless when it comes to cooking. Seung-gi fires up his pot… with no water inside, and then Tae-woong starts whittling his radish down… to about half the size it started as. (Though admittedly, this is what happens when I wield a knife, which is why I’m banned from fruit cutting and other such activities.)
javabeans: Oh no, Seung-gi’s getting all creative with his dish (proudly explaining that he’s mixing it up a little so that his potatoes get to hang out with radishes and sweet potatoes for variety). Should we worry? Also, he apparently cannot cook a sweet potato without a timer. He NEEDS one. Whatever happened to just cooking something until it was ready?
girlfriday: Pffft. Yeah, there’s no such thing in Seung-gi’s world.
javabeans: He went to the Robot Cooking Institute.
girlfriday: Where you learn to cut your veggies at right angles and get short-circuited if you stray from the recipe.
javabeans: Heh, Su-geun introduces his chefs like they’re at a fancy restaurant, and Seung-gi’s description: He’s pretty, and for him, cooking is all about timing and talking. And wifi, since he needs to be within arm’s reach of a real recipe at any moment.
girlfriday: I love Tae-woong and Seung-gi cooking side by side. Tae-woong’s I’ll just wing it vs. Seung-gi’s You should time it.
javabeans: Hahaha. Seung-gi’s so unintentionally funny when he gets fixated on an idea and refuses to give it up.
girlfriday: Seung-gi cooks his potatoes for exactly 12 minutes and 2 seconds, while Tae-woong tastes, and tastes again, and tastes again, to see if they’re done. The captions: “It’ll be gone if you keep at it…” Between losing half the radish at the peeling stage and this, they might be right.
javabeans: Su-geun’s chicken is butchered for him by the owner, and they find eggs inside the cavity, which for some strange reason makes me sad. Ji-won comes barreling in, “Eggs? I want to put them in mine!” The captions read, “Eggs? In bean paste soup?!” like he’s crazy. Which, I guess, it would be. Also: his dish is one of those stews that taste delicious, but I always think smells like feet.
girlfriday: Also, that egg isn’t exactly the same as the kind that gets laid, yeah?
javabeans: It’s the kind that turns into chicks, no?
girlfriday: Though maybe that’s the same? I dunno. Clearly I know nothing about where eggs come from.
javabeans: They ought to be different, because the ones that we eat are unfertilized. JI-won tastes his soup, and has a problem: He’s forgotten what it should taste like. It’s like the cooking equivalent of saying a word over and over until you have no idea if it’s right or wrong anymore. Seung-gi gets smoke in his eyes from his rice pot and pretends to be emotionally moved; “Cooking is all about the heart…” Tae-woong sorta muddles through his preparation, alternately hesitant to mess up, and then just dumping it into the pan with a shrug, like, “Eh, it’ll work out.”
girlfriday: Jong-min proudly offers Seung-gi a taste of his kimchi, at which Seung-gi shrinks back and warily asks if he’s first to try it. The expression that follows is not the most confidence-inducing one. I’m beginning to worry.
javabeans: Finally the dinner starts to come together, and places are set. Seung-gi is super proud of himself and offers everyone a taste of his rice with steamed potatoes, and the look of expectation on his face is just adorable. But what makes it hilarious is the captions that crowd the screen: “Is it good?” “Isn’t it good?” “Please praise me.” “It’s good, right?” “I know it’s good.” “Please tell me it’s good.” HAHA.
girlfriday: Haha. It’s so cute. But what really seals it is Ji-won’s reaction: O-face, followed by high-five, followed by tears of joy.
javabeans: After the initial tasting of everyone’s dishes, they start doling out portions for everyone… at which point Na PD tells them to wait before eating them. He’s got that gleam in his eye back… Aha! I knew he couldn’t just give up bokbulbok altogether! He points out, “We asked you to diligently make dinner…not to eat it.” Why so evil, Na PD?
girlfriday: Dude, that’s so MEAN. He’s never made them cook and THEN played bokbulbok for eating rights before! Na PD’s smile comes beaming, after spending the whole day with his frownyface on.
javabeans: Omg I love the rules of this game already. They play a game, and the one loser has to sit out while the other four get to eat…for FIVE SECONDS.
girlfriday: Hahaha. So basically they’re going to be shoveling the food in their faces, not so much chewing or tasting. At least then it doesn’t matter how well they made everything.
javabeans: Seriously, after the first round you see bits of food flying because the boys are having trouble keeping the food IN their mouths because they’re snorting in laughter at the ridiculous of this predicament.
girlfriday: Omg, I’m dying. There’s just spit and food everywhere. I’m pretty sure that’s stew coming out of Ji-won’s nose.
javabeans: The game itself is the familiar strawberry game, where each person takes on the name of a fruit and then calls on each other, in rhythm. Only, today they have to adopt the name of one of the dishes on the table. Tae-woong picks one that’s easy to say (radish, or mu), but on the flipside, it gets him called a lot. On the other hand, Jong-min has picked a four-syllable dish (godeulbaegi) so then he’s sputtering to say it four times fast. Contrast mu-mu-mu-mu with godeulbaegi-godeulbaegi-godeulbaegi-godeulbaegi and guess who has to forgo eating?
girlfriday: Basically round after round, it’s either Tae-woong or Jong-min who has to sit out, while the other three feast like kings.
javabeans: Make that two others. Seung-gi starts to try the chicken, but it’s so tough it refuses to tear. So then it’s like a point of pride, where he MUST win over the bird, and he wastes two rounds fighting with it. before finally getting a taste on the third round
girlfriday: I really wouldn’t WANT to eat a chicken that was so tough to tear. But like you said, it’s more about conquering the bird than anything.
javabeans: Because of the game “upgrade” (which includes shoulder/neck motions on top of the rhythm), I’m afraid Jong-min’s going to snap his neck trying to keep in time. He keeps calling Tae-woong because it’s the easiest one to say, and Tae-woong keeps messing up. So when it’s Jong-min’s turn again, Tae-woong mutters, “Just try and call on me again,” all threatening-like, and Jong-min totally messes up. Do you like how Na PD keeps telling them to calm down because they’ll get plenty of chances to eat, so they shouldn’t stuff themselves like crazy people? He sounds confused as to why they’d be so hasty to shovel in food, as though forgetting who made them that way.
girlfriday: I know. Like they’re being barbarians or something. Dude, you MADE the rules!
javabeans: Cue montage of Tae-woong’s flubs, then Jong-min’s. Su-geun has been feasting, and suggests that maybe the loser should get to eat now. Last round changes the rules to cleanup duty, and…Tae-woong loses.
girlfriday: Aw, poor buddy. No dinner AND cleanup duty?
javabeans: It’s just not his night.
girlfriday: Next week: a morning mission with a twist… A mole is among them.